UA honors seven at Alumni and Friends Gala


The University of Akron Alumni Association continued a 52-year tradition on May 16 by presenting alumni honor awards to three individuals, honorary alumni awards to three others, and praising outgoing University of Akron Board of Trustees member Dr. Chander Mohan for nine years of service.

More than 300 people attended the Alumni and Friends Gala held at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn.

The 2013 Alumni Honor Award Recipients are:

  • John C. Blickle (’73, ’77), president and owner, Rubber City McDonald’s
  • May J. Chen (’88), retired, executive director Asian Services in Action, Inc.
  • Randall R. Theken (’88, ’91, ’92), president and founder, Theken Family of Companies

Recipients of the 2013 Honorary Alumni Award are:

  • Arthur F. Anton, president and CEO, Swagelok Company
  • Frank L. Douglas, president and CEO, Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron
  • Leila L. Vespoli, executive vice president and general counsel, FirstEnergy Corporation

"Alumni are not only the legacy of an institution, they are a validation of its quality and value," said Dr. Luis M. Proenza, president of The University of Akron. "We are immensely proud of these alumni award recipients, whose personal and professional accomplishments burnish the luster of our institutional reputation.

"Additionally, we extend honorary alumni awards to those individuals whom we would claim as our own. Their outstanding talents, exemplary civic engagement and distinguished careers inspire our university community.

Putting student success first

"All of today's award recipients are good friends of this University, and have been very active in supporting and promoting student success and institutional advancement."

The Alumni Honor Award recognizes individuals for achieved distinction in their chosen fields, or who have demonstrated loyal and active interest in their alma mater. In addition, friends who have rendered valuable and conspicuous service to the University and/or the community are elected to honorary membership.

In addition, the Alumni Association honored Mohan, who was appointed to The University of Akron Board of Trustees by Ohio Gov. Bob Taft in 2004, and who will complete his nine-year term as a trustee in June. A gifted and nationally recognized psychiatrist, Mohan is president of the Clinic for Behavioral Health Services in Cuyahoga Falls, and medical director of Geriatric Psychiatry for Massillon Community Hospital. He also is an instructor at the Northeast Ohio Medical University.